Lance Armstrong falls from Adelaide board

By Paul Hemsley

Adelaide City Council has announced it will dump disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong from its Key to the City honour board as the local government seeks to limit fallout from the latest sports doping revelations.

But despite removing Mr Armstrong’s name from the Key to the City honour board, the South Australian capital will not seek to physically retrieve the ceremonial key that was handed out as in January 2011 for raising Adelaide’s profile through the Tour Down Under and promotion of cancer research.

The decision to scrub off Mr Armstrong’s name follows the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s finding that he both used and distributed illegal performance enhancing drugs as part of a sophisticated doping ring that resulted in him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale has also banned Mr Armstrong for life from professional racing and disqualified his results since 1998.

Adelaide City Councillor Natasha Malani said it was the right decision at the time to give Mr Armstrong the keys to the city.

“However in the wake of recent events, we need to join the rest of the world and show that we do not condone that sort of behaviour,” Ms Malani said.

Councillor Anne Moran went further and said that everything Mr Armstrong has done has been based on a lie and is opposite of what the Key to the City honour board was all about.

Mayor Stephen Yarwood said the council resolution was to recognise Mr Armstrong with his efforts in Adelaide, the Tour Down Under and cancer research, but was more appropriate to remove his name when the issue was raised and put to a vote.

Armstrong’s removal is the second major celebrity controversy for Adelaide’s Key to the City and its honour board in less than a year.

In April city officials including the Mayor were embarrassed to discover that the city key bestowed on veteran songstress Cher was being hawked on online flea market eBay. The key was handed out as recognition for Cher’s involvement in 1990 Formula One Grand Prix that was held in Adelaide.

Today eBay hangs its search engine advertising on terms related to the key incident.

With Julian Bajkowski

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